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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old




*The Nine Lives of Travis Keating* by Jill MacLean- young readers book review
 
Also by Jill MacLean:

The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden
The Nine Lives of Travis Keating
by Jill MacLean
Grades 4-7 192 pages Fitzhenry & Whiteside October 2008 Paperback    

When Travis and his father move to Ratchet, a small fishing community in Newfoundland, it is an experiment. Travisís father needs to escape the memories of his wifeís fatal battle with cancer, and starting over as a country doctor in this small town seems to be the answer. Travis is reluctant to leave his friends and the school where he is a sixth-grade hockey star, but he has agreed to try it for 365 days: a one-year experiment.

Travis isnít in town long before he meets Hud Quinn, the town bully, and Travis makes a very poor first impression. With Travis as the bullyís new target, the other kids are relieved but hesitant to befriend Travis.

Left to entertain himself after school and with no friends to accompany him, Travisí exploration of his new community leads him to discover a community of friendless cats that have been abandoned. As Travis attempts to improve life for these felines, he finds that his life in Ratchet is improving also.

The Nine Lives of Travis Keating deals with bullying, alcoholism, stereotypes, and animal cruelty. It is a great read-aloud and discussion starter for upper elementary readers through middle school, especially reluctant middle-school readers. There is enough action to keep readers interested, with vivid descriptions of the geographical area. Readers will easily relate to Travisís loneliness and his need to talk about his mother.

Author MacLean presents upper elementary and middle-school readers a choice adventure with an opportunity for parents to share this story and find some teachable moments.
 
Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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